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Wield Absolute Control

Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.

If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse, organising your island in Animal Crossing, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.

This list includes 179 games from the last 32 years, with 2,510 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to control and order things.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 2,510
 

 

Threes

Release Date: 06/02/2014

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Threes is a puzzle game where you slide numbered tiles on a grid. When they collide they combine their numbers, like Triple Town. You can match 1's and 2's with each other, the white tiles can match cards that are multiples of 3...

Loop Hero

Release Date: 03/02/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Loop Hero is a dungeon exploring adventure game where you use cards to create a world for your character to survive. Rather than control the hero yourself, you take the role of designer (or Dungeon Master) who use cards to create a world that is hard...

Storyteller

Release Date: 23/03/2023

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to matching what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using...

Mini Motorways

Release Date: 04/03/2019

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Mini Motorways is by the same developer as Mini Metro but tasks you with planning a road network rather than subway. You lay down roads, traffic lights and motorways to ensure enough cars can get to the buildings that pop up in your city as time passes....

Mini Metro

Release Date: 06/01/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Mini Metro is a game where you create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe in this strategy...

Osu!

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels, the games is an esport with people competing to...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try...

Heaven's Vault

Release Date: 16/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

In Heaven’s Vault you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices can open or close vast swathes...

Papers, Please

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Release Date: 01/04/2019, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (known as TABS) is a fighting game where you choose different armies and troops to battle each other in an automatic simulation that models their offensive and defensive abilities. Once set up, the fight is largely...

A Little To The Left

Release Date: 01/08/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

A Little To The Left is a puzzle game where you are tidying a house into meticulous order. Each puzzle presents everyday objects and some evidence of how they should be organised. The challenge is you have to deal with the mischievous cat who likes to...

Slime Rancher (Series)

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Slime Rancher is a farming simulation with a difference. Rather than chickens, sheep or cows, you farm slimes. You explore the open world from a first-person perspective to find and collect slimes. As you develop your farm in numerous ways you generate...

Game Builder Garage

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Game Builder Garage enables anyone to make video games. Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The cute Nodon characters that power the visual drag-and-drop construction, enable players...

Lego Worlds

Release Date: 26/10/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Lego Worlds takes virtual building back to the classic bricks with familiar figures, buildings and challenges from other Lego video games in an open world where your imagination can go wild in a bottomless bucket of bricks.

Zoo Tycoon (Series)

Release Date: 17/10/2001, updated in 2017

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Zoo Tycoon is a zoo simulator series where you take charge of a zoo business, build the park, care for animals and attract visitors. You can build, expand, and upgrade the zoo by purchasing animals, creating suitable animal habitats, and allocate staff...

Littlewood

Release Date: 18/06/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Littlewood (coming to Switch soon) is a town and farming simulator a little like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. Here though, the twist is that the game is set after a grand adventure. You...

One Hour One Life

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

One Hour One Life is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you...

Paradise Killer

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...

Potion Craft

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop to send you bottle around the map. You combine ingredients, fire and water to move your bottle along the map to the target location and brew a potion to help...

Paralives

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Paralives is a simulation game where you build houses for people and then control how they live. It's inspired by games like the Sims, however, you have complete control over every aspect of the design of the house and its residents. Its balance of...

Grounded

Release Date: 28/07/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Grounded is a survival game where you are tiny and find yourself in someone’s back garden. It’s like Honey I Shrunk The Kids meets Fortnite. Ants, cockroaches, and bees pose a threat along with environmental hazards like water, tall grass and large...

Hundred Days, Winemaking Simulator

Release Date: 13/05/2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Hundred Days is a strategy game about making wine. You control every aspect of a new Winery, choose vines, learn how to grow them and when to harvest. You make decisions about the process with a simple interface that takes you through each day. It's a...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Summer in Mara

Release Date: 15/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Summer in Mara is a farming game with a strong narrative about an adventurous girl called Koa. With a full day-night and season cycle, you can take the challenge on at your own pace as you build your farm and explore the world around you Take care of...

Sid Meier's Civilization (Series)

Release Date: 21/10/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Civilization is a long-running strategy game where you develop a society from hunter-gatherer to space travel. There are many ways to approach this challenge; socially, militarily, politically or perhaps by building wonders to impress other nations.

Triple Town

Release Date: 14/10/2010, updated in 2012

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Triple Town is a puzzle game where you expand an empire by building cities in a limited space. You combine lower value pieces into better ones to improve your city and make best use of available space. It's simple and quick to pick up but requires...

Viva Pinata

Release Date: 09/09/2006

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Viva Pinata is a strategy garden-simulation where you tend and care for 60 different piñata animals. Play involves interacting with the Pinata themselves, but also creating the right environment to attract new creatures and helping them thrive. It...

Surviving Mars

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Surviving Mars is a colony simulation game based on the real geography of Mars. You build and maintain a liveable habitat while balancing resources and researching new ways to adapt to the hostile environment. You receive occasional rockets from Earth...

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (Series)

Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, GBA, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.

Puzzle Quest (Series)

Release Date: 16/03/2007, updated in 2019

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Puzzle Quest 3 is the latest in a series of games that combine role-playing with tile-matching puzzles. Set in a fantasy world, you move around the map, encountering monsters and other enemies. When you go the battle are played out as tile puzzles where...

The Sims 4 (Series)

Release Date: 04/02/2000

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

The Sims puts you in charge of a world of characters living normal lives. By providing a home, a job, leisure, friendships and even love interest, you work to make them happy. It’s an open-ended game as well, although the altruism is focused on...

The Wandering Village

Release Date: 14/09/2022

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Wandering Village is a strategy game where you build a city on the back of a giant, wandering creature called Onbu. It's unusual because as well as building a thriving settlement, you have to also take care of the creature on who you are building....

Orwell's Animal Farm

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Orwell's Animal Farm is an adventure game with a decent slice of strategy, all brought to life with beautiful hand-drawn storybook art. As the name suggests, the game is based on the 1945 literary classic Animal Farm by George Orwell, which uses a farm...

Eco

Release Date: 06/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Eco extends the resource-collecting and building of Minecraft by introducing environmental implications to your actions. Using resources like trees will erode the soil; mining might pollute the river; and each animal depends on another.

Terra Nil

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Terra Nil is a strategy game where you are using clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays...

Outlanders

Release Date: 17/09/2019

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Outlanders is a building simulation where you are the leader of a group of regular people building a town together. Some want to survive, while others want to build amazing things. It’s up to you to guide them towards their goal

Evil Genius 2 (Series)

Release Date: 30/03/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Evil Genius 2 is a tongue-in-cheek strategy game where you play the evil villain. You must build a detailed, functional lair from where you can take control of the world. Similar to Sim City and 2 Point Hospital, you use your resources wisely as you...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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